Pioneering show home launched for people living with dementia

Outside the dementia friendly home
Outside the dementia friendly home

A ground-breaking project which aims to show how life can made easier for people living with dementia has been unveiled by North Ayrshire Council.

The local authority is raising awareness on how small adjustments within the home can make a huge difference to those living with dementia and their families.

Developed by the council’s housing services in partnership with local businesses and stakeholders, the dementia-friendly demonstrator show home – thought to be the first of its kind to be created by a local authority in Scotland - has been unveiled at the newly-developed Montgomery Court, Kilbirnie.

Dementia friendly home 1With support from sponsors, Tesco Kilbirnie and Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company, the show home has been kitted out with furniture and items that all contribute to dementia-friendly design.

The house features contrasting colours to help ensure important features standout such as doors, light switches, grab rails, toilet seats and furniture. These small changes can support a person living with dementia to live independently in their own home for as long as possible.

Also included are features such as large clocks which clearly show the time of day, and lighting is maximised, especially in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms to ensure objects are clearly visible.

Dementia friendly home 2There is also a range of technology on show within the demonstrator home, such as the ‘buddi’ system, which tracks movements via GPS to prevent people wandering too far from their home, and chair and bed pads that activate an alert if a fall is detected.

North Ayrshire Council deputy leader, John Bell, said: “It is estimated that there are approximately 2,600 people with dementia in North Ayrshire.

“With an ageing population – and with this number is set to increase - our older people have indicated that they wish to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

“This can be difficult for people living with dementia but there are a number of measures people can take to ensure that people with dementia can live independently for as long as possible, and we hope to raise awareness of how people living with dementia can be supported in their own home.

“This show home is just the beginning of what can be done to assist independent living for those with dementia.”

The daily notice boards available in the home
The daily notice boards available in the home

The dementia demonstrator home forms part of a brand-new state-of-the-art housing development at Montgomery Court, Kilbirnie.

The £4.8 million development has been designed to specifically meet the needs of the older population in North Ayrshire. It features 16 one-bedroom homes within a new sheltered housing complex and an additional 8 two-bedroom amenity bungalows.

The entire development has been designed using dementia-friendly design principles, such as clear signage and contrasting colours. This ensures that the home environment is tailored to actively support independent living for those suffering with dementia.

Dementia friendly home light switchIndependent living is further supported throughout the development with level access, wet floor shower rooms, pull down and pull-out kitchen units, accessible sockets and switches and the provision for future ceiling hoists to be installed.

The sheltered housing complex also includes a community hub, developed in partnership with North Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership. It is anticipated that this hub facility will offer a range of clubs, classes and activities not only for residents, but for the wider older population.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the property by appointment, by calling housing services on 01294 324031. The show home will be open until 17 February 2017.

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